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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Well, of course I can!” The woman smiles a big toothless grin. “I wouldn’t be a very good fairy godmother if I couldn’t, now would I?”
“Eairy godmother?” I repeat in disbelief. “You’re a freaking fairy godmother?”
“Of course,” she says, looking a bit offended. “Don’t you recognize one when you see them? We’re the only Sidhe who look like old ladies, after all.”
I shrug. “I’ve never seen a real Sidhe of any sort. I mean, besides my own family, I guess, and we just look plain old human. What do normal Sidhe look like?”
“Young, beautiful, thin, tall, blond, perfect figures.” She sighs miserably. “You know, your typical Disney princess type plus wings. It really is completely unfair.”
“Wow. So how come Sunny and I aren’t like that?”
“Probably because you didn’t grow up in fairyland. After all, they don’t call it Tír na nÓg for nothing, you know.”
“Oh yeah. That’s right.” I remember reading that in my studies somewhere. Tír na nÓg means “place of eternal youth and beauty” or something like that.
“Once you step foot in Tír na nÓg, you’ll never grow old,” she says in a sing-songy voice. “Well, unless you’re destined to become a fairy godmother, that is.” She scowls. “Thank you very much, Walt Disney.”
She shakes her head in disgust. “Once upon a time, we fairy godmothers were just as young and beautiful as the other Sidhe,” she informs me. “But then Disney comes along and creates movies like Cinderella. Now everyone expects their fairy godmother to be a plump old lady with no fashion sense. It’s ridiculous.” She sighs. “Our union tried to lobby the powers-that-be for a while. We even launched a full-on PR campaign to prove to people that fairy godmothers can come in all shapes and sizes. But no one bought it.”
“Let’s be realistic here. You descend down into someone’s bedroom window as a fat old lady with a magic wand offering to make that person’s wish come true, you’re a welcomed guest. You show up as a young, hot debutante in slinky silk Armani and they’re on the phone with the coppers before you can say bippity boppity boo.”
“Yeah, I guess I can see that.”
“So eventually we had to have Glinda, the Good Witch, take us down the Yellow Brick Road to see the Wizard and have him age us up so we’d better appeal to the masses.”
“The Wizard?” I repeat. This story is getting crazier and crazier. “But I thought he was a fake.”
“That’s what we wanted Dorothy to believe ...” the fairy godmother replies with an exaggerated wink.
I lean back in my seat, not knowing where to start.
“Anyway, if you can get past the old crone thing, it’s really not that bad a gig,” she continues. “We get to travel a ton, helping our godchildren with things like designer clothes, tickets to the hottest balls, elegant transportation ...”
“Oh, like a carriage made out of a pumpkin!” I exclaim.
She gives me an amused look. “Yeah, if we were in the Middle Ages!” she says sarcastically. “Today, it’s more like a Mercedes made of melons, thank you very much.”
Of course it is.
“So then can you help me?” I ask hopefully. “Can I be your Cinderella? I have to get to Tír na nÓg and find my sister.”
She glances at her watch. A Rolex, in case you were wondering. “I have a flight to catch in an hour,” she muses. “Some servant girl in Slovenia is hoping to hook up with the prime minister at the royal meet-and-greet tonight.” She taps a finger to her chin. “I guess I could give you directions at least. And how about a Lamborghini made of lemons?” She pauses, then adds, “Just make sure you have it back by midnight or there could be some ... complications of a decidedly sticky sort.”
I make a face. “It’s okay,” I tell her. “I’ll just take the directions, if you don’t mind.”
She grabs a napkin and a MAC lipstick out of her Chanel purse and draws a small little map. “Most people think Tír na nÓg is an island,” she says. “But actually it’s here on the main-land. Just a different ‘here.’ ”
“Right. And there’s some secret way to part the curtains of the world?”
She looks up. “Your parents didn’t teach you anything, did they?”
I shake my head.
“It’s okay. After all, if it weren’t for absentee parents, I’d be out of a job.” She waves her hands and mutters something under her breath and a moment later a small piece of parchment paper flutters to the table. I pick it up eagerly.
“Are these directions?” I squint at the paper.
“No, no. I don’t have time to conjure up a full-on poem on the fly. It’s just the URL for the fairyland cheat codes. Print out the magic words and then head here.” She presses a finger to the map. “The rest will be obvious, you being Sidhe and all.” She looks up and smiles at me. “You sure you don’t want the lemon Lamborghini? Or maybe a frankfurter Ferrari?”
I’m tempted, but I shake my head. “That’s okay,” I say. “Thank you. You’ve been very helpful.”
“Good luck,” she says. “Tell your sister I said hello.” She rises from her seat.